Monday Morning Musings

Posted on November 22, 2021 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

Frigid Air Appliances


“I am not a crook.”

President Richard M. Nixon

“I am not a scrooge.”

Len MacDonald

By the time you finish reading this piece, many of my new readers will be convinced that I have the worst traits of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch. My long-suffering readers know that just about every year for the past 10 years, I have posted something similar at this time of the year… the lead up to Christmas. Actually, it occurred to me to take the easy way out and just recycle one of my old posts, but I was too lazy to go and search for it.

I don’t hate Christmas. There are aspects I love like travelling in jam packed airports during the festive season or going grocery shopping on Christmas Eve Day.  Seriously, I do love spending time with the family during the holiday season. Luckily, we have special events like Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving which give us a reason to get together otherwise we might remain in our caves all the time. Having missed last Christmas because of Covid, I am anxious to be home this year.

The last poppy has barely been lain at the cenotaph to honour those who died in wars when some well-intentioned person (with the IQ of an aging gerbil) will ask you, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Shortly thereafter, you will be treated (?) to the first of 450,000 renderings of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You”. I’m sure Mariah is a lovely person. Does she have a song about the Easter bunny? I just wish there was some way of celebrating Christmas without the hype. (You can address your comments to Grumpy Old Man”)

Look, I’m all for peace and joy but just without the nauseating commercialism. I am not insensitive to the needs of small businesses who rely on Christmas sales to survive but that is a rather sad commentary on the current business model. This Christmas, in particular, will likely be make or break time for many enterprises after the devastating effects of Covid. I wish them well.

Shop local.

Luckily in the north, I am immune from all the pre-Christmas hype. By the time I get home for Christmas, I might even welcome Mariah Carey and The Little Drummer Boy.

I’m not one of those trash talking kind of guys but today is an exception. No, I am not going to boast about my prowess at reorganizing closets or one of my legendary long walks. So far, my work at the school has been more or less what was described in my contract. I am doing administrative work and some teaching. Nowhere in the job description did it mention anything about ‘dump diving’. No, that’s not a typo. We don’t have dumpsters in Kangiqsujuaq.

Our large school yard is dotted with large storage containers. These come in by ship a few times a year. They contain everything related to the school. There are maintenance and janitorial supplies, school supplies like desks, chairs, bookcases, photocopiers etc and furniture for teacher’s houses. They also become storage units for obsolete equipment like old washers, dryers, and fridges which will eventually be shipped down south and recycled.

A large shipment of school furniture and household items arrived this fall. My job was to go through the containers, check the packing slips, review the order forms and then tag items for our maintenance guys to deliver. Several teachers ordered items for their apartments including new stoves. Actually, before I left last year, I had indicated that my apartment needed a new stove as it always ran 75 degrees too hot. I enlisted the support of a colleague (ER was amazing. Thank you again) to assist me with labelling these items. We spotted a few stoves and immediately tagged one for my old apartment.

On the day that the stove was delivered, the new tenant contacted me to tell me that there were no oven racks. This, I found odd until it dawned on me that the container with new fridges and stoves also contained older, used appliances. She had received a “gently used” stove from our kitchen program. That did not explain the missing oven racks. When I told our principal early the next morning about the conundrum, she immediately dispatched me to the dump. “You need to find the old stove that the maintenance guys took to the dump yesterday. Grab the racks quickly.”

It was early and the sun was just beginning to rise as one of the maintenance guys accompanied me to the landfill to show me exactly where they had deposited the old stove. It is hard to believe that a dump can look majestic but on this day the sun crept above the horizon directly behind the dump. It was spectacular. We quickly found the old stove but sadly there were no racks inside. There were a few dozen others and after clambering over piles of old appliances, we found three racks.

Our joy was short lived. The new tenant in the apartment informed me that the racks I had retrieved were too small. Knowing that the apartment across the hall was vacant, I suggested that she go there and borrow a few until we could order new ones. There were no racks in that oven. I discovered that oven racks are routinely removed from old stoves and used as cooking racks at local peoples’ cabins. My friend was able to borrow a rack from someone else in her apartment building.

I never realized that an oven rack could be such a hot commodity!

Maybe if I cheerfully embrace Christmas without any whining about Mariah and commercialism, Santa will bring me some oven racks.

Have a great week.

P.S. With the possible elimination of fossil fuels in the coming years, at least Santa won’t be able to leave a lump of coal in my stocking!


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Highland Hearing Clinic

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